(photo-Alice Garick). Barbara Mahler w Bella
Barbara Mahler is a choreographer, performer, movement educator, body worker; a master teacher of and major contributor to Klein Technique™, teaching at the Colette Barry and Susan Klein Studio as a substitute teacher while working as in intern, and a substitute teacher 1979-1982 at the Susan Klein School of Movement and dance, and as main teacher 1983-2001,- the “motor” of the school. The studio became the Susan Klein and Barbara Mahler School of Dance 2001-03, in gratitude for her service. Currently, she is on faculty for Movement Research; since 2005. As well she is a senior faculty member (1989) and certified practitioner(86) of Zero Balancing, a hands on healing modality.. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee – 2008 CLICK HERE for the schedule of classes. .On-going Classes in NYC…..the WORKSHOP LINK Workshops – also below or check the calendars to the right.
technique Barbara Mahler: How I Teach Klein Technique
BY RACHEL RIZZUTOJanuary 31, 2017
Barbara Mahler’s Klein Technique class always begins the same way: Students slowly roll down until they’re completely folded over—and stay there for about half an hour. This, dancers say, is where tiny miracles happen. There’s a Zen-like calm so strong it’s palpable, as Mahler weaves through her students, gently inviting them to “bring attention to the hamstrings” or cueing the “weight of the head to pull on the tail.”
To a novice, a Klein Technique class might appear monotonous or even strange. But “it’s a way to re-educate and facilitate change—it’s knowledge for people to help themselves move better, with less pain and more ease,” says Mahler, who has been teaching it for 34 years. Klein Technique was developed by Susan Klein in the 1970s as a response to her own injuries. Part somatic practice, part movement technique, its repetitive, slow-moving approach helps students realign and repattern their bodies, leading to the dissolution of bad habits, a new range of motion and injury prevention.
A latecomer to dance as an undergraduate at Hunter College, Mahler found herself plagued by injuries. “I was always having back problems,” she says. Then she found Susan Klein’s studio and noticed a dramatic transformation in her body. “I realized I wasn’t in pain and my back was getting better,” says Mahler. “I was learning how to understand myself.” She quickly became a devotee and eventually a certified teacher.
For many modern dancers in New York City, Mahler’s class is a source of revelation. “I grew up doing lots of ballet, so when I went to college for modern dance, I was constantly told to be more grounded and give in to my weight,” says Trina Mannino, a student of Mahler’s for two years. “It was in the hanging over that I felt this surrender in my body. It started to shift for me.”
The beginning of class isn’t the only time revelations occur. Near the end, when Mahler noticed her students going from a fetal position on the floor to a spread-eagled X-position by initiating from the feet, she suggested they pair up and try moving from a different part of their bodies to see if that led to any discoveries. While one partner lay on the ground, the other placed their hands on their partner’s trochanters (the two bony protuberances at the top of each thigh bone) for tactile encouragement. Afterward, Mahler had them walk around the room to feel the difference in their bodies.
The change was immediately visible: The side of the body that had been touched appeared longer and more relaxed. “I feel like my legs are walking me!” said one student, clearly surprised.
That surprise is what Mahler hopes her students leave class with. “I want them to have a different experience of being in their body,” she says. “And that information is something you take away and apply to other classes.”
Barbara Mahler has been teaching Klein Technique since 1978 in various capacities.. She was on faculty at the Klein School of Movement from 1983 to 2002; today she teaches at Movement Research and Gibney Dance Center in NYC. She has a BA in dance from Hunter College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her choreography has been presented by Danspace Project, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Dixon Place in New York.
THIS NEXT ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY Trina Mannino for the Dance Enthusiast in May 2015, celebrating the collaborations and long time artistic relationship between Performance Mix creator, performer and choreographer Karen Bernard and Barbara MAhler
Performer, choreographer and educator Barbara Mahler returns to the Performance Mix Festival with her solo IT OcCurS to mE. Mahler has known festival founder Karen Bernard for years, beginning when they shared their work in the same program in the ‘70s. They continued to bump into one another in their Tribeca neighborhood where they both lived and worked at that time.
The two came together again this past May when they revived one of Bernard’s works Vinyl Retro (1999) for a Dance and Process performance at The Kitchen. “It was rare for both of us,” Bernard says. “For me, to be working with someone and for her to be dancing in another person’s work.”
“I was on another planet,” Mahler says with a chuckle. Bernard’s dances are peppered with props and video while Mahler is drawn to work where the body alone is the focal point. Despite their contrasting approach, the two veterans had great fun working together.
Mahler didn’t grow up dancing like her counterpart. Instead, she stumbled upon it while studying at Hunter College. “I walked into the dance club which was on Wednesday afternoons. There was Dorothy [Vislocky] and her infamous drum.”
She soon enrolled as a dance major, taking any classes available. It was at Hunter where she first learned of Susan Klein Technique through Vislocky — both of whom had a deep impact on Mahler.
After graduation she began studying at the Susan Klein and Colette Barry Studio 1977-79, while working a host of jobs including as a bank teller and house cleaner. “The technique was the only thing that gave me a language that I helped me to understand myself as a mover,” she says. Today, she continues to teach in KleinTechnique/Stretch and Placement in New York and abroad, describing it as “an original method of developing movement and posture through a deep understanding of one’s skeletal and muscular structure and its expressive possibility .The venerable artist has trained hundreds of dancers and non-dancers while continuing to create solos and dances for small groups that are pregnant with nuance and skill. She spoke with The Dance Enthusiast about how her teaching and choreographic life intersect. ARTICLE WRITTEN BY TRINA MANINNO
Created and performed at Brooklyn Studios for Dances, curated by Pepper, a teaching and creative residency culminating in this performance in May 2018 with Jamie Graham and Trina Maninno.
Barbara received a 2013 BAX 10 AWARD in Arts Education.
|As well as choreographing and teaching, she maintains a private practice in hands on body work, using the techniques and principles of Zero Balancing, Connective Tissue Therapy, and Klein Technique, working with injury rehabilitation and prevention; movement re education and coordination. She is a master teacher/contributor of Klein Technique, and a senior faculty and certified practitioner of Zero Balancing (www.zerobalancing.com). As a movement educator, has been an ongoing faculty member with Movement Research NYC since 2005, teaching group classes aimed towards the improvement of coordination, alignment and general physical well-being. Barbara was the motor of the Susan Klein School of Dance 1986-2003, and to quote Dianne Madden, co-artistic director for TBDC, having begun teaching there full time in 1983. Movement Research continues to provide a home base for all aspects of her research. Barbara’s viewpoint of the well-functioning person/body is grounded in her long – standing work in the dance and movement field. Her major and most consistent sources of information have come from the study and teaching of Klein Technique and Zero Balancing, along with the perspectives and insights gained from re-educating her own body. Dorothy Vislocky was the spark that turned her world upside down and she began Dancing. Her continuing curiosity about the body, movement, perception, and learning fuels all aspects of her work – performance, teaching, choreography. Contemporary dance techniques, composition, improvisation, choreography and performance have all played major roles in the focus and experience of her work. Her small and intimate dances/choreography have been presented across the globe – Chile, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and many venues in New York, as well as across the US. Barbara was an ongoing guest faculty with of the Danish National School of Theater and Contemporary Dance, 1994-2015.|
“In Bundled Postures” Judson Church-Movement Research Presenting Series 2019
performed in multiple places- Performance Mix at University Settlement June 2019; Solstice – an Evening of choreographers
Click here for Workshops Also click on Class calendar for ongoing classes – currently, since March 2020, almost everyday via ZOOM….hoping for a live class/classes with Movement Research in Fall 2021
SUMMER MELT with MOVEMENT RESEARCH (annually since 2008) on ZOOM 2020,21
CUERPO INTELIGENTE—- Santiago CHILE! September 28- October 2 2016, October 17-22 2017, October 18-30 2018, 2019 was cancelled due to a Coup! Klein Technique, and performance w a new group work at the Bio Bio dance festival in Conception. contact firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 was Cancelled due to political unrest, and 2020 and 21 workshops were on ZOOM
Minneapolis, MN December 2016, MAY 12-14 and December 8-10 2017, May 19- 20 , and November 10-13 2018, May 17-20 2019, Taipei, with dance company HORSE, (email@example.com🙂 June 2016,-19….WORKSHOPS were on ZOOM with HORSE 2020,21 and predicted for 2022
Tanzfabrik, Berlin – Easter workshop – April 22-27 2019, (2018 as well)
and Vienna Austria – tanzquartier wien April 15-192018 and 2019
Taipei- with HORSE dance Theater June 27-July 2 2017, June 20-30 2018 , June 24-July 6 2019 with klein technique classes, advanced class, Zero Balancing , ZB 2 Class and individual ZB sessions
Sessions 2020, 21 and 22 have been/will be continued on Zoom
.PERFORMANCES 2019 —Judson Memorial Church as part of Movement Research Presenting series March 18, Performance MIX with New Dance Alliance Sunday June 9, SOLTICE – an evening of dances Saturday June 15 and performances in and around Queens as part of the Queensboro Dance Festival 2019. New Work created with support LIFT -OFF with New Dance Alliance, a weekly peer feedback group headed by Karen Bernard, and Movement Research, who supports my process and products by employing me as a teaching artist 2005-present.
An active participant in the QueensboroDanceFestival Summer/Fall 2017,18 2019 and 20- all queens based artists..
I received my BA from Hunter College, under the tutelage of Dorothy Vislocky, NYC, and my MFA from University of Milwaukee/Wisconsin in 2008. I was an artist in Residence with Movement Research for the 2003-04, and 2006 -08 seasons. Movement Research continues to provide a home base for the development of my artistic visions and products. Internationally, my choreographic work has received support from the Arts Councils in Montreal, Canada; Danse Alliensen in Sweden (Stockholm and Gothenburg) and the Cultural Arts Ministry in Chile. I was a recipient of a Sage Cowles Land Grant, and part of the first solo dance artist residency at The Yard (an artist’s colony in Chilmark, Mass.) I was artist in residence at the first summer dance intensive at Ohio State University. I was a LIFT-OFF summer residency recipient in 2015, and received artistic support from “Dance Gallery”, NYC summer 2016. I was a guest artist/teacher at Hunter College, NYC, 2000-11 and an adjunct evaluator at SUNY Empire State College 2011-13 Since 1977, I have been an avid student, becoming a master teacher of as well of a contributor to Klein Technique, applying the principles to dance and movement from all points of view. In the mid ‘80s. I began creating mainly intimate solo dances for large and small spaces expanding to group dances, all with the earmark of, textures in time and space, portraits and non-linear stories. My work has been presented both nationally and internationally, receiving was a BAX 2013 Artists in progress award in Arts Education, accepted for EMERGE 2014, and was a member of LEAP a Queens Arts Council Program supporting development of vision, artistic products and process. I received a choreographic residency from the CAVE, Williamsburg, NY; a personal residency in 2004 and the commission for student dance work at Wilson College, PA 2015 – Paula Wilson thank you! : a grant to reset work on Clancy Dance in Silver Springs, MD, also spring 2015. I was a space grant recipient summer 2015 from LIFT-OFF, NYC and a short an very sweet Pandemic Residency March 2020
My choreographic passion is the solo dance, for my self and others; dances I think of in terms such as clarity and intention. Movement created through daily work in the studio through improvisational is my primary medium and drawing from my life experiences and artistic exposure.
My interest, my passion, is the body – the limitless possibilities of the body as an expressive instrument. I think of my dances as being in dialogue with the spaces in which they are created and/or performed, and for each particular audience. Nothing exists alone; all things can only exist in relationship. This is the way I approach and view my work. Dances are always given a new life with each audience in each new environment or performance. Although all dances are created to realize a particular form or shape, to convey an event, fulfill a concept, I view, and create my dances with the premise that they are innately possessed of a spontaneity and flexibility that give rise to various interpretations and meanings. Solos in particular, in the absence of other dancers, call upon the interpreter/ dancer’s inner dialogue as primary tools in creating and maintaining a relationship between themselves and the audience, while the dance itself creates the structure for the communication. The audience, an assortment of individuals, come together in what I think of as a collective vision. The audience collective can affect the outcome and the interpretation; of what is being presented on the canvas. The relationships thus created are with the self, the audience and the space, and, in the case of duos and trios, other performers. Although I know what my dances are, they acquire new life in each different circumstance. I mold and craft my dances in detail and design, and in paradox, aim for spontaneity and immediacy. My current trajectory includes but is not limited to rigorous improvisational and collaborative process in rehearsals and performance. Deborah Jowitt of the Village Voice wrote the following about a concert of my work, presented by Danspace Project at St. Mark’ Church – :“Barbara Mahler roots her choreography in distillation, as if she aims to extract the essence of her ideas, making them calmer and purer. Struggle is subdued, climax minimized….intriguing ways she blends delicacy and strength and skews familiar movements.”
http://youtu.be/ThPi7IbAeXY “Precipice” at Green Space 2015
Kathee Miller….ArtBark Santa Barbara, CA 2013
PAST: ISRAEL with Yasmeen Godder and Company Fall 2015; BERLIN @ LaborGrass 2006-08, Schwelle 7 w Felix Rukert 2010=2015; Tanzfabrik, Berlin – 2018,19 and 7 workshops on Zoom 2020-21; VIENNA, Austria; 2016 2018,19: Limerick, Ireland 2016 ; LONDON @ Independent Dance Fall 2014, 2015, Zoom Workshop 2020: Chisenhale, and Greenwhich Dance Agency; Iceland with the Dancing House (Dance Atelier,) the State Dance Academy and the Main Dance Company of Iceland September and November 2012: Skolen for Moderne Dance in Copenhagen, Denmark 1992-2007, 2009-2015 Minneapolis, MN 1992-present.Chile – Valparisso and Santiago with government support, and 2014- present annual workshops with Cuerpo Intelligence, on ZOOM 2021: HORSE DANCE THEATER, Taipai, Tawain annually beginning 2016 with 2020 and 2021 on ZOOM.
|photo – my daughter Bella Elizabeth Naomi Klein|
My students include/have included dancers from all backgrounds, styles and aesthetic viewpoints – Trisha Brown and many of her company members, Stephen Petronio, Neil Greenberg, Wally Cardona, Molly Leiber, Lily Gold, Donna Costello, “HIJACK” (MPLS), Lily Baldwin, Jeremy Nelson, Yasmeen Godder, Krista Langberg, Fabio de Silva, Gerald Casel, Johanna Hegenshcheildt (Berlin), Diane Madden, Karin Jameson (Sweden), Jannine Rivel, Li Chaio Ping, Steinunn Ketilsdóttir (Iceland); Sally Rhoades, Luis Lara, Barbara Grubel, Cathy Young, – MPLs ; Jennifer Monson, Athena Malloy, Rachel Thorne Germond, Cara Heerdt, Ted Johnson, Jessica Winograd, Angie Pittman, Jasmine Hearn, Joanna Kotze, Kyle de Camp, Nami Yamamoto, Peter Chamberlain, Sarah Lass, Jamie Graham, Alissa Lazaro, Fara Greenbaum, Chrysa Parkinson, Omagbitse Omagbemi, Brian Gerke, Jody Melnick, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Leslie Satin, Joseph Lennon, Jack Ferver, Jeremy Laverdure, Sara Roer, Christina Latici, Trina Mannino, Sara Gamblin, Biba Bell, Melissa Arra, Emily Climer, Rebecca Pearl, Melinda Ring, Rainy White, Antonio Ramos, Veronica DeWitt, Robin Stiehm, Linda Shapiro, Mary Nunan (Ireland), Sam Wentz, Joey Kipp, Christopher House, Lene Boel, Christina Bonati, Wendy Blum, :aura. Staton, Tina Goldstein, David Hurwith, David Harris, Stephanie Skura, Hiroko Ishmura (Japan), Valerie Green, Marcela Ortiz de Zarate, Gina Bonati, Will Rawls, Anthony Philips. Ruth Alpert, Andrea Nagl, Rosemary Carroll, Bebe Miller, Rosy Simas, David Steele, Christina Meldal, Ramona Jacobs, Julie Tolentino, David Thomson, Adrienne Clancy, Kay Ottinger, Aurora Reyes, Noah Damer, Fransicso Cuervo, Andrea Jenni Burnoski, Minna Elf Wendin (Sweden) Wu Kang Chen (Taipai), Elizabeth Caron, Michelle Hower, Michelle Farinella, Jodi Melnick, Stephanie Skura, Oren Barnoy, Ruping Wang (Taipai) ,Lilia Leomil Shaw, Irene Morawski, Megan Sipe, Meg Batterson, Sarah Skaggs, –many students in Denmark, Sweden,Iceland, Finland, –omgoodness,- I have been graced with so many wonderful people both in person and on the internet thanks to Zoom! I have left out so many I will continue to find space .
This video is from QueensboroDanceFestival 2020…the Pandemic took our annual tour of public spaces, and all was turned quickly into virtual or outdoor activities. This one, the 3rd of my Improvisational explorations (vimeo- Barbara Mahler, and Barbara Mahler Dances). This one is particularly my favorite, as it was full of feeling the immediacy, adjustment, being ok with, all possiblitles during this pandemic time.Basketball games, bicycles, – totally what the past 6 months had been about. September 2020, Windmuller Park.
Hats off to Karesia Baton and the crew.!